PDA

View Full Version : Do I need an Agent?



robdanjoe
08-08-2006, 05:49 PM
I am currently working on my first novel and have been getting some promising interest from a publishing house. I have been dealing with the Publishing House by myself but the time for the contract is quickly approaching. Would it benifit me to get an agent and how do I know who the right agency for me is?

Tilly
08-08-2006, 05:54 PM
Welcome!:welcome:

If it's an advance paying publisher (and the size of the advance is likely to be enough to interest an agent) then I'd say it's a good idea. They don't just sell books to publishers, which it sounds like you've already done, they negotiate terms of the contract.

As to which agent would be the best for you, it depends on your genre and many, many other things.

Here are some articles on researching an agent:

http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/agentsearch.html

http://www.sff.net/people/VictoriaStrauss/beware.html

Best of luck to you :)

Kasey Mackenzie
08-08-2006, 06:36 PM
I hope that you checked this publisher out in the Agent Index in this forum as well as checking on P&E and Writer Beware. That said, also be sure to check out any agents you want to submit to before you submit in the same places. Best of luck!

stormie
08-08-2006, 06:45 PM
Welcome, robdanjoe!
As others have said, make sure the publisher is legit. Then, if so, you can check out www.agentquery.com (http://www.agentquery.com) for agents that rep what you're writing. But first, finish the book. Agents want to see a completed novel. (You query first, though.)

UrsusMinor
08-08-2006, 07:42 PM
Even if the publisher checks out and makes an offer on the finished manuscript, I'd still advise getting an agent--and with a deal in hand, getting one should be an easy job.

An agent will be able to make sure you don't give up rights you should retain; they will be able to read royalty statements and have some idea if the publisher is paying you what is due; they may be able to negotiate aspects of the contract you wouldn't worry about.

On top of that, a good agent will make selling future work easier...and will also handle all that obnoxious photocopying-and-mailing-label stuff.

Sassenach
08-08-2006, 07:48 PM
I am currently working on my first novel and have been getting some promising interest from a publishing house. I have been dealing with the Publishing House by myself but the time for the contract is quickly approaching. Would it benifit me to get an agent and how do I know who the right agency for me is?

This is so out of the ordinary that I urge you to check out the bona fides of this publisher asap.

Major red-flaggage.

Maddog
08-08-2006, 07:50 PM
Yeah, something's fishy when a publisher wants your unfinished manuscript. Is it PublishAmerica by chance?

UrsusMinor
08-09-2006, 12:32 AM
This is so out of the ordinary that I urge you to check out the bona fides of this publisher asap.

Major red-flaggage.

Unusual, yes; unheard of, no.

Usually happens when visiting editors nose through MFA programs (Iowa, UC Irvine) and are struck by a WIP. I've also heard of it happening at conferences where editors do advance reads. Keep in mind interest in a ms. is a long ways from a sale.

But Sassenach and Maddog raise an interesting point, if you don't mind our prying: How did you happen to come in contact with this publisher? (You weren't sending out an unfinished ms. over the transom, were you?)

In any case, have you checked this publisher in the threads at this site (look under the INDEX TO AGENTS, PUBLISHERS AND OTHERS at the top of this forum)? That's where I'd start...

robdanjoe
08-09-2006, 04:58 PM
First, thank you everyone for your advice. Though I have been an avid writer for years, this is my first attempt at anything beyond a college journal. The reason I happened upon contact with this publisher is that I am writing in the genre of Christian Fiction and my hope is to go through a publisher that deals primarily in the Christian market. I began corresponding with this publisher to find the correct avenues to follow. I have not sent out an unfinished ms. but only some sample writing and discussion of my current work. No promises have been made to me so I by no means have an agreement to have my work published. However, I do have my foot in the door as far as contacts and interest are concerned. My fear is that I will miss the larger picture and commit to a contract that may not be in my best interest IF and WHEN one is offered with out the assistance an agent could provide. As is with writing my novel, I am attempting to do as much research on the printing end during conception and before I am faced with the decision. Thanks again for the help. This is a great group and I appreciate the concern. It is comforting knowing that there are people out there willing to share their answers and knowledge to a rookie such as myself.

Sassenach
08-09-2006, 07:29 PM
I'm still confused. Are you interacting with an editor at the house? What about the 'promising interest' you mentioned?

James D. Macdonald
08-17-2006, 04:12 PM
You might want to check this article on agents:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/8/7/122232/1998